Monday, July 30, 2012

In one traditional form of pornography, from the Victorian “A Man With a Maid” to the more recent “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a young woman is initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality. In the end she is, at some level at least, grateful for the new horizons that’ve opened up to her. 
Well, we still have that. But let’s face it — porn has gotten pretty boring.
If that's your idea of porn, no wonder you're bored.
Nowadays, you can’t really shock with sex. Even gay sex has gone from edgy to ho-hum. 
So try a different adult bookstore. (Why is he being so coy? Jonah Goldberg would have blegged by now.)
No, if you want to make an impression, it takes something really exotic, like . . . traditional middle-class values.
[record scratch]
A spin across the cable dial will reveal some examples — the Duggars are exciting because they have lots of children and raise them themselves; Dave Ramsey says to live within your salary.
What, the Duggars and Dave Ramsey do porn? I knew I should have paid the cable bill.
But for me the strongest case in point is CNBC’s “Princess,” with Jamaican-born financial adviser Gail Vaz-Oxlade.
Each episode revolves around an overindulged young woman in her 20s or early 30s who’s spent herself — and usually her parents, boyfriend and sometimes even siblings — into near-bankruptcy. With friends and family, Vaz-Oxlade stages an intervention, making plain the costs of this behavior, both personal and financial. 
Then the profligate subject is put on a strict budget, and forced to cook, clean, take public transit and show respect for the parents, boyfriend, et al. who’ve been supporting her... you can tell that many viewers enjoy seeing the pampered “princesses” learning to cook, clean and perform other traditional tasks for themselves...
Oh, so it's humiliation fantasies you're into! But I see you've found a vendor, so what are you complaining about?
But this is only news because so many modern young people lack those skills, once taken for granted.
"So many" young people are literally unable to cook or clean? That explains the popularity of Applebee's.
In today’s culture of immediate reward, a work ethic centering on self-discipline and the ability to defer gratification is almost, to use a favorite term of the avant-garde, transgressive. Hmm: With so much of our economy and politics now based on the absence of those characteristics, maybe it really is a bit transgressive.
We're not doing transgression anymore, Perfesser. It's all about the dictatorship of the proletariat now. That and anal.
But those mores just may be making a comeback in these tough times. The fact is, self-discipline and the ability to defer gratification really do help you get ahead, avoid debt and feel more in control of your life... 
At any rate, we can hope that saving money, avoiding debt and treating friends and family with consideration are now edgy enough to become trendy.
Ugh, sorry, folks, turns out there's not much else to it. Once again old-fashioned values have been abandoned by beatniks and goofball-poppers, but now comes the turn of the tide and soon the kids will learn the simple pleasure of good old-fashioned elbow grease of the sort Perfesser Reynolds hasn't applied in a hen's age.

Give him credit, though -- at least he knew that no one, not even readers of the New York Post, would go for a warmed-over Look magazine mores and tempora lament without something racy up front. It's a classic Berkeley love-in come-on: Yes, these stoned co-eds surrender their lissome torsos to their Black Panther boyfriends for our cameras, but don't worry, eventually the only grinding they'll experience will be the garbage disposal's and their own teeth at night.

But the schtick seems to have gotten away from Reynolds. His pleasure is so palpable at the idea of "a young woman... initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality," and of rich bitches forced to strain and Swiffer, that when he announces it's actually boring we assume he's just trying to tamp down his hard-on before he has to get up from his desk.

Sex magic is powerful stuff, and whenever these guys fool with it it's like the Nazis with the Lost Ark.

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the bizarre and maudlin reactions of rightbloggers to the 2012 Olympics. Though they all say they're confident of victory, they seem incapable of enjoying anything these days, even their own award ceremonies. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

HOW TO BECOME AN UNPERSON. Steven Hayward at Power Line, March 2011:
Embedded below, if I have mastered the custom Power Line formatting, is a stunning five-minute video of Berkeley physicist Richard Muller shredding the infamous climate “hockey stick” that is making the rounds widely on the Internet.... the aftermath of Climategate, Muller is “going big” you might say. Watch this and you’ll see what I mean, especially his summary phrase, “You’re not allowed to do this in science.” Muller is not just tenured, but is late in his career, so feels free to speak out, unlike younger academics who don’t dare cross the Climate McCarthyism of the universities. More importantly, Muller is heading up the new Berkeley Earth Temperature Study, which will review and analyze all of the data on this subject starting from scratch. Unlike the Climategate cabal in Britain and in our NASA, the Berkeley group will share its data with all comers. Keep your eye on this; it will take time–years more than months probably–but may prove to be the thread that unravels the main prop of the climate campaign.
Since then, the science has led Muller not to "unravel the main prop of the climate campaign," as Hayward predicted, but to what Muller himself calls his "total turnaround" on AGW: "Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."

Steven Hayward at Power Line, this weekend:
But just how much of a “skeptic” was Muller?  Here’s the opening from his 2008 interview with Sounds pretty close to the “consensus” party line to me, and as such today’s Times op-ed does not represent a fundamentally new position for Muller at all.  (I’m wondering whether a Times editor pressured him to use the “total turnaround” language.)  Actually, Muller has always been among the group of folks known as “lukewarmers"...
Soon enough we'll be told that Muller was always a thought-criminal.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wherever you are, whatever your condition, thank your lucky stars that you can enjoy at least some part of life without letting politics ruin it and you.
SHORTER CRAZY JESUS LADY: I'm gonna let Kathryn J. Lopez write the column this week. Screw it, it's not like the editors are paying attention.

A scene in the “21 Jump Street” movie taps into a recent generational change I’ve been noticing among Millenials.
RUN! RUN FOR YOUR too late -- Matt K. Lewis of the Daily Caller is trendspotting.
“He’s trying, he’s actually trying,” Tatum’s character says (pointing at some kid who seems to be minding his own business). “Look at the nerd!” When the nerd takes umbrage at this, Tatum’s character punches him and says: “Turn that gay-ass music off.”

Surprisingly, the crowd sides with the nerd, and one of the cool kids says, “That is really insensitive.”
Was this in the trailer? I seem to remember that with a record scratch and a rad little kid with a fauxhawk yelling "Fish out of water!" Here's Lewis with the thumbsucking:
The premise of this scene illustrates an interesting new phenomenon. Today’s “cool” kids no longer think “trying” makes one a nerd. (Nor do they condone casual gay-bashing.) Times have changed. And since they turned this generational shift into the plot point of a movie (ironically, Jonah Hill’s character becomes the popular kind in this new paradigm), I’m guessing others will notice.
Maybe they will, as soon as they finish snarling over the Muppets boycotting Chik-Fil-A.
Indeed, they have. Speaking at the July 2012 Portland/CreativeMornings, author and literary critic William Deresiewicz...
RUN! RUN FOR YOUR too late, again. I gotta work on my explosive strength.
...observed the same phenomenon. Regarding today’s young people, he notes, “[T]hey’re all incredibly nice. They’re all…polite, well-spoken, pleasant, moderate, earnest.”
At all the college classes I teach and the lectures I give, kids are constantly kissing my ass. They're so nice!
Comparing today’s rock idols to the musicians of yore — who trashed hotel rooms and talked about how many groupies they slept with (think Channing Tatum’s character’s fantasy) — Deresiewicz argues that today’s bands are “all like low-key, self-deprecating, post-ironic, very earnest, very eco-friendly sort of presentation.”
In other words, they suck.
Deresiewicz also observes that “trying” and being entrepreneurial is actually considered “cool” these days. “It’s like every artistic or moral aspiration is now expressed in terms of starting your own business, whether it’s food or music or good works,” he says.

This, of course, is dramatically different from the way things used to be.
Yeah, remember the 1980s and that radical firebrand Alex P. Keaton? You don't? Good, you're just the kind of sucker who'll swallow this bullshit whole without flinching. Who else would? Maybe a couple of culture-war wingnuts who know better will at least pretend the kids were a shaggy librul menace until Jonah Hill taught them to care because it sounds like a promising Romney-era meme, but at the end of the day they'll trudge down to their panic rooms with the Poverty Sucks and Ghostbusters posters on the wall, watch old videos of teen heartthrob Dan Quayle, and weep.

After considering some other idiotic theories, Matt K. Lewis comes up with this:
First, economic incentives work. When blue collar kids could slide through high school and still get a job paying $19 an hour in a factory, school could legitimately be seen as a joke — a waste of time. That trend has obviously come to an end. (It probably ended in the 1970s, but it might have taken a generation or so to become clear.)
WHEN THE FUCK WAS THIS? Every factory job I had in the 70s paid in the single digits. Maybe Lewis' old man owns a factory?

The rest is just as bad, but here are the bad-good bits:
“It’s uncool if you don’t try,” one young co-worker told me.
Intern at Daily Caller = Voice of a generation. There's also a "one young person told me" quote, hundreds of words long, that begins, I shit you not: "I see the entrepreneur spirit in a lot musicians, especially electronic musicians..."
Ultimately, I think technology and the internet are the most important reason for this generational shift...
That's when, bleeding from the eyes, I gave up, but I had a reading robot crawl the page and when it came back, smoke streaming from its apertures, it croaked, "There is a lot to this, and clearly something interesting is afoot" before self-destructing.

I predict the young people of today will outlive us, the poor bastards.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY.  Dan Riehl in 2009:
You may recall that on about his first day in office Obama returned a famous bust of Winston Churchill to Britain. That was seen as something of an insult to Britain by many. He gave the British Prime Minister tapes of his own hopey changey speeches, which many saw as egotistical but was also a statement of sorts, saying, you aren't really so special, sport. Perhaps it's the message in his speeches he actually wanted the PM to get? 
In the video below you'll find that for Obama there was no bow to the Queen of England. His wife even broke protocol by reaching out to give her a pat at some point, as I recall... 
This is a man who, unlike most Americans, doesn't view Western Civilization as all that. 
Dan Riehl today:
Get over it, Britain. You're a second rate, semi-degenerate nation still on the way down because you went too far to the left too long ago for anyone to care about. Don't expect us to wring our hands over what you losers did. We're too busy fighting to make sure it doesn't happen here...
Mostly a bunch of feckless wankers if you ask me. Put a Gold Medal on that and aim it at the Queen's arse. 
What a difference a Mitt Romney goodwill tour makes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

HAYSEED. If anybody could put me in conditional sympathy with Nanny Bloomberg, it's Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds, talking about Bloomberg's crack about the police going on strike:
I predict that such a strike — not that it’s likely to happen — would lead to less crime, and far less political support for the police. Meanwhile, just to prepare against the eventuality, I think I’ll go buy a gun.
Forget about the dumb idea that pulling out the cops would bring down crime. (Maybe he's never been to a big city.) Is there anything that better typifies Reynolds' politics of faux-redneck resentment than a threat to get back at the Mayor of New York by stocking his McMansion in Bumfuck, Tennessee with another gun? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.
“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.
Then he pushed in his nose and winked.

Romney's advisors say that as President Romney "would seek to reinstate the Churchill bust displayed in the Oval Office by George W. Bush but returned to British diplomats by Mr Obama when he took office in 2009."  They're still going on about that bust, even though it was meant to be returned all along and no one gives a shit except the two million conservatives who blogged about it at the time.  In fact, all of this nonsense is a rehash of one of the more ridiculous rightwing fits of 2009, when the Obamas were alleged to have dissed Queen Elizabeth because something something no curtsey, thereby shattering what had once been a great "Anglosphere" alliance of Christopher Hitchens and anybody else who didn't like wogs.

I understand that this is the time of the campaign cycle where you shore up your base [cue "Theme from Deliverance"], but Romney seems to be overdoing it. When he gets to Tampa Bay he's going to have to lock out all the conservatives, pack the audience with shills (maybe he can get them from the same place he gets Twitter followers), and lead them in a rousing chorus of "We Are the World" to make people forget he spent most of the summer pretending to be Barry Goldwater.

UPDATE. Hm, the Romney campaign says it's an "anonymous and false quote from a foreign newspaper." Whether they're telling the truth or backpedaling, it's a positive thing that they don't want to be identified with it. The new story is that it's all the Obama campaign's fault for believing Romneyites would engage in such behavior ("Relying on Blind Quotation, Race Injected in Presidential Race"). Well, guess we'll all have to wait until we're dead and God tells us what happened.

UPDATE 2. The Telegraph stands by its story.
WINGNUT COLLOQUY. Here's the sentence that set him off:
At first their outrage was attracted by an on-air report by ABC News' Brian Ross on the shooter's identity after his name, but no details, had been revealed. Ross said this: "There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."
Then ensued:

To recap: The guy misapprehended the sentence and called me a liar; when his error was pointed out to him,  he pretended not to be able to read.

I stopped talking to him at this point, but I should never have started.  (I even went out of my way to be civil, which you all know is a great effort for me.) My problem was, I tried to figure out how he came to his misunderstanding. Maybe he thought the clause pertained to "attracted" rather than "report" -- but then, why would I have inserted immediately thereafter the very details Ross revealed?

But his responses revealed what I should have known from jump -- that he's just a yelling bot, and has no premises at all. He exists to denounce liberals and trawl the attention of big-name conservatives. He isn't there to listen, except for the sound of his own name.

The internet's full of people like this. They make outrageous statements and when they're called on them pretend not to know what's going on. And a lot of them mistake what they're doing for actual argument. It's like "Firing Line" with dialogue from "Pee-Wee's Playhouse."

And it seems this style is bubbling up to the big-name guys, too. I saw a clip recently of James Taranto on the Lou Dobbs show, and though when I met Taranto years ago he was mild-mannered and easy to talk to, on the show he was bellowing like a Fox News clown. Matt Lewis used to be a relatively sensible conservative writer, and now at The Daily Caller he's writing boob bait like this "guns don't kill people, movies do" thumbsucker.

It's getting to the point where you can't talk to them at all, and that's a real bad point.

UPDATE. Dyer has apologized to me, which is gracious of him. (I wasn't fishing for it, because in my experience people who demand and exult in apologies are assholes, and only mention it to credit him.) He still thinks I misunderstand him, and who knows, maybe I do. Anyway I welcome to opportunity to stop seething at him. Everyone else, however...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the rightblogger reaction to the Colorado movie massacre. Basically, it's like this, only worse. In the year since Anders Breivik, they've actually gotten crazier.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

DID A LITTLE OBIT of sorts for Alexander Cockburn at the Voice.
I GIVE IT FOUR FARTS. I just found this thing on the internet, a promo from something called Young America's Foundation -- which sounds like a cheap knock-off of Young Americans for Freedom, but turns out to be partners with YAF, as well as longtime custodial service at the Reagan Ranch. It promotes a DVD doc called The Conservatives, which from the trailer looks like the dystopian opening sequence of Atlas Shrugged Part I followed by scenes from corporate image advertising, accompanied by rightwing pundits telling you how great capitalism is. Perfect for your next Romney G&T/servant-horsewhipping fundraiser!

The trailer's not much, but I just love the splash page image:

It reminds me of the posters for Mystery Men, except repulsive. (Superheroes from left to right:  Li'l Reagan, Braygirl, Drunky Fart, The Wad, The Black Stossel, Screechy, and The Yacht Broker.) As with all wingnut welfare projects, the necessity to attract audiences has been obviated, so no one at YAF/YAF cares what the world thinks, but didn't the pundits get a look at the ad before it went up? I should think Mark Levin would at least have demanded they airbrush into his portrait a Nehru jacket and Mr. Bigglesworth.

As to Goldberg, I can't tell whether they simply couldn't get a better picture, or whether he has purposefully opted to transition his public image from Cheeky Conservative Bad-Boy to Professor of Liberal Fascism. The smart-guy glasses, the Van Dyke, the slightly askew forelock, the capture in mid-hector -- maybe he thinks all this makes him look intellectual. But I am put more in mind of a midwestern high school principal in the big city for a convention, back at the hotel after several drinks at the T.G.I. Friday's down the street, attempting to intimidate a desk clerk into removing in-room snack charges from his bill. "Now listen to me, Renaldo, I am not some bumpkin who doesn't know what's going on. See this card? Read what it says. Read it. It says I am a Marriott Elite Membership Member. Now whenever I stay at a Marriott, I show them this card and my Cheetos are comped. Always, Renaldo. You call the main office. Go ahead, I'll wait. I'll wait right here. Because you know what they'll say? They'll say, 'Mister Goldberg gets his Cheetos comped because Mister Goldberg is an Elite Membership Member.' And this is in fact central to my point that I am not paying twenty-one dollars for seven little tiny bags of Cheetos that were open when I got there and not even Crunchy. Farrrt. Now I suppose you'll accuse me of incivil-ilitism. Well, allow me to remind you that you started it, and that he who smelt it dealt it. Q.E.D. I rest my case, right here on this couch. Ooof. Go ahead, I'll wait. Call the head office, Renaldo. Call Mr. Marriott. Three dollars for a bag of Cheetos. Fuck. [snores]"

Friday, July 20, 2012

LITTLE HELP. Jay Brida, whom some of you know as one of the geniuses of the comments boxes here at alicublog, has a problem: A loved one who's cancer-free. Why is that a problem? Because getting cancer-free in the Land of the Fee leaves you with a metastasizing mountain of debt. Now Jay's fundraising to defray Ana's absurdly high medical bills. This week he even held a benefit event for the cause, which must have been painful for him because he hates people. Jay raised some bucks, but that's just a patch on what's needed. Whattaya say? I kicked in and you know I'm a skinflint. Go thou and do likewise.
CULTURE WAR HIGH COMMAND, LACKING CANNON FODDER, ENLISTS MENTALLY DEFICIENT VILLAGERS, ARMS THEM WITH SHARPENED STICKS WHICH THEY POINT THE WRONG WAY. Via Chuck Gilligan, who got it from Paul Krugman, I bring you this Gary Silverman FT item in which Suzy Welch, former editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review and wife of GE blowhard Jack Welch, tells a no doubt dumbfounded TV audience the difference between Romney singing "America the Beautiful*" and Obama singing "Let's Stay Together":
In an appearance on CNN with her husband, Mrs Welch suggested that Mr Obama’s personal style and choice of musical material define him as a member of a “different America”...
“It’s the difference between the songs that they’re singing,” Mrs Welch said. “Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he’s singing, OK? I mean it’s that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn’t it?”
I still think this thing can go either way because the economy sucks, but when you listen to these guys make their case, it really sounds like they only expect to carry Fritters, Alabama; whatever counties have an active neo-Nazi movement; and Utah.

*UPDATE. Originally had the Romney song as "God Bless America" until some guy in comments gave me a hard time. Speaking of comments, here's Ben: "Al Green, being in his late sixties, now leaves much of the day-to-day work of destroying America to John Legend."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

THE RIGHT HAND DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT HAND IS DOING. Warner Todd Huston at Breitbart's Big Hollywood on Monday:
SPIN ALERT: The House Did NOT Vote to Repeal Obamacare 33 Times

Last week, the Old Media reminded the public that the July 11 vote was the "33rd time the Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare." Only there is a little problem with that claim. It isn't true...

The Old Media wanted America to think the Republicans were just being petty and partisan. They were playing advocates for Obamacare again, not reporting the facts.
Interesting! But Huston should have first alerted his Breitbart colleague Ben Shapiro:

I know, no one's playing attention, but they should still try and keep up appearances.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WHY DO THEY HATE AMERICA? Michael Walsh after the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare:
It’s tough to accept that perhaps a majority of our fellow Americans would cheerfully trade liberty for a false sense of security.
Michael Walsh this week:
But if Romney thinks [Obama Alinksy blah blah is] going to enrage the good people of America, he’d better think again, and fast. Thanks to changing demographics, the Left’s relentless assault on the American educational system over the past half-century, and the Regressives’ control of the media, it’s an open question whether such folks are still a majority. 
Michael Walsh is very disappointed in you, America. But you still have a chance to get on his good side! He hasn't given up hope that you hate homosexuals as much as he does. All you have to do is find Walsh calling Rahm Emanuel "The Ballerina" hilarious, and he'll know you're regular. Why ain't ya laughing? Michael Walsh is very disappointed in you, America...

Elsewhere on the PR team, Bernard "Ask Me About Liberal Bias" Goldberg is wringing his hands about Mr. Obama's horrid Class War:
Will class warfare work?  Are there enough independent and undecided voters out there who will be seduced by the president’s arguments? 
“You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” either P.T. Barnum or H.L Mencken said (even the experts aren’t sure which one said it).  The observation may be cynical, but either P.T. or H.L had a point.  So I’m not  at all sure the president’s latest foray in the war against the wealthy won’t work.
And Nick Gillespie, who was wearing black leather when you punks were in Pull-Ups, lectures the kids about the real enemy, their Boomer parents:
Take a break from getting yet another tattoo on your ass bone or your nipples pierced already! And STFU about the 1 Percent vs. the 99 Percent! 
You're not getting screwed by billionaires and plutocrats. You're getting screwed by Mom and Dad. 
Systematically and in all sorts of ways. Old people are doing everything possible to rob you of your money, your future, your dignity, and your freedom...
Except Nick -- he's the Randroid priest who can talk to kids. How can he miss with material like this: "C. Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane put out a study for the Urban Institute last summer that should have caused far more riots than anything that happened at Zuccotti Park." Oh, and this: "You're the mark here, the chump who's believing in Bernie Madoff even after the grift has been revealed." Can he sell it or can he sell it?

People joke about Romney pandering, but with guys like this doing Bizarro World advance work for him, I can see why he's trying so hard to lighten things up.

Refresh my memory: Were we this obnoxious when we were losing?

Monday, July 16, 2012

TODAY'S CHILD OF ZHDANOV is one Lee Habeeb, who at National Review tells us all that Woody Guthrie was a commie so we all better stop liking his so-called songs. To this end Habeeb portrays a 2009 performance of "This Land is Your Land" in Washington, DC as a terrorist attack from beyond the grave:
As the event came to a close, Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen led the crowd in a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” a song most of us think we know, but don’t — a song we love, although we might not if we knew why the song was written and what the song is really about.

And what the man who wrote the song was about, too.

What most Americans don’t know is that Guthrie didn’t like Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” and wrote “This Land Is Your Land” as a rebuttal.

What most Americans also don’t know is that Guthrie didn’t like his own country and wanted to fundamentally transform it along the lines of his heroes, Marx and Lenin.

And what most Americans had never heard until that day in Washington, D.C., was a stanza that is typically left out of public presentations of “This Land Is Your Land” because it is so radical. The lines are as radical as the writer himself, who dedicated his life to the overthrow of capitalism and private-property rights.

Hope and change were in the air that cold winter day, and Seeger and Springsteen figured it was time for America to hear the rarely performed stanza.

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me,
A great big sign there said, “private property”;
But on the back side, it didn’t say nothin’;
That side was made for you and me.

No wonder we’ve never heard that stanza. It changes Guthrie’s song from a celebration of America into a bitter indictment of a nation built on unjust private-property rights.
One of these days Habeeb is going to have to explain to us why no one ever sings the second, third, or fourth verses of "The Star Spangled Banner." I bet it's pretty nefarious.

Then Habeeb tells us more about how Woody Guthrie was a commie, and then the old story about how the Pilgrims learned communism was no good ("and there it ended, the American experiment with collectivism") -- at great and tedious length, maybe because,  dull as he is, even Habeeb began to sense that trying to lecture people out of liking music is totally insane.

But he does eventually come back to tell us who else not to like:
Guthrie was the first musical icon of the 20th century to make it cool to sing songs about the workers’ revolution, ushering in the later tunes of Phil Ochs; Joan Baez; Billy Bragg; Jackson Browne; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Green Day; and the Clash.
It no longer shocks me that such freaks at Habeeb exist, but I'm still not sure why venues such as National Review promote them instead of locking them in the attic. Aren't they interested in attracting normal people, who would recoil instinctively from anyone who buttonholed them in real life and started yelling, "You have to stop liking 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,' it's communist -- the Pilgrims knew"? Maybe they're given up, and want only a saving remnant of loons.   

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP about the Romney speech to the NAACP and the pleasure the brethren got out of it. Special Condi Rice kicker!

I couldn't find a spot in there for this thing by Lloyd Marcus, mainly because I thought it would take too long to explain him to outsiders, even if I included this video. For n00bs, Marcus is the Tea Party's most visible black figure (and visibility is crucial to that gig), and this is what he wrote at American Thinker this week:

NAACP Furthers Mission of KKK
 In the heat of passion during a radio interview, I said, "The NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, and Democratic Party are more destructive to blacks than the KKK!"
After the radio show, I thought my statement may have been a bit over the top.  Upon further thought, though, I concluded that my statement is true.  Before calling me crazy, please hear me out.
Or you can just call him crazy right now and save yourself some time. In case you're disinclined to get out of the boat, here's the closing:

Proudly declared as an effort to assist black America, the Obama administration announced that it has softened the penalty for possession of crack cocaine. 
I suspect the KKK cheered, "Right on brothers!  Right on!"
I would suspect Marcus of being a double agent, except he seems like the type to go up to one of his employers and say, "Wait, are you my real boss or the guy I'm spying on?"

Friday, July 13, 2012

AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY I DRINK. Apologies for the paucity of posts this week. They've piled a ton of new work on me at my job (to "compensate" they've replaced some of my writing work with editing work, which they appear to believe is easy) and I seem to have a lot of side projects going.

But I'll be frank with you -- a lot of it is just malaise. Sometimes I just can't even, as the kids say. This election seems to have surpassed the last one for stupidity already, and it's only July. I mean, look at this thing from the wingnut meth labs of Lee Stranahan:
So, someone on Facebook posted the following picture showing Barack Obama apparently dressing the same as….Ann Romney. Who wore it best?

And DANG — it’s funny. I posted it to Twitter.
The President is wearing a blue striped shirt and white pants; Ann Romney is wearing a blue checked shirt and white pants. Which turn out to have been shorts, which just makes it funnier.

"FUN! RT @Stranahan: The Vetting Of The President’s Outfit: aka Mom-Jeans-Gate | New on my blog," tweets Sissy Willis. If you look up "Obama mom jeans" on Twitter, you will see this has now become a full-blown thing ("@DurrantMark: Given how he throws a baseball and his affinity for mom jeans, I think Obama wants to make history again by becoming the 1st woman president").

It makes one long for the quiet dignity of the Bush-Gore debates.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WHITE MAN'S BURBLE. Been awfully busy. I hear Mitt Romney spoke to the NAACP. How'd it go, Darleen Click?
If nothing else, Romney has demonstrated how so many American blacks are willing to betray the work of the Civil Rights movement in order to be taken care of by Master in the Big White House.
OK, I see I didn't miss anything: Among the brethren, the preordained message is that if black folks don't like Romney, it's all black people's fault. Tom Robberson at the Dallas Morning News:
When the NAACP boos Romney as he’s speaking, they demean the political process and they send a strong message to Republicans: Don’t even try to talk to us because we’re not going to listen. That’s how you write yourself off the political agenda and guarantee that your issues receive back-burner status should the opposition make it into the White House or Congress.
Funny, in their Tea Party mode these guys are all about how We The People are in charge and those durned politicians are working for us, not the other way around. Robberson seems to think it's We the People who work for the politicians when We the People aren't white. Actually I doubt he thinks of them as We, at that. And from the general "good for him, telling off those nih[clang]"  line among the rightbloggers, Robberson seems to have plenty of company. Jamelle Bouie called it.

Oh, hold on -- Dan Riehl:
Boston black leader backs Romney at NAACP gathering
The saving remnant! That man may be lonely but he'll never miss a meal. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about rightblogger reactions to the death of Andy Griffith. You know the drill.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

CATCHING ON. Here's the latest horseshit from BuzzFeed:
The New Obama Typeface: Revolution Gothic
A source points out that President Barack Obama's new typeface is Revolution Gothic, a style inspired by retro Cuban propaganda posters. Who vets the fonts?
So far so Drudge. But, to my delight, this is immediately followed by the Obama camp response:
(Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt emails: “Your GOP operative should have had the courtesy to stay sober before noon, and BuzzFeed should go back to labeling cat slideshows.”)
I hope this perfectly sensible and hilarious reply catches on and the Democrats eventually start responding to all this stupid shit with an animated gif of Joe Biden giving the jerk-off salute.
CHACUN À SON GOÛT.  Michael Walsh likes Paul Ryan as Romney's VP:
...he speaks in the cadences of a younger America; he’s like a Quentin Tarantino character come to life, minus the profanity. Obama’s manufactured persona extends down to his mannered way of speaking, with the dropped “g’s” and the use of the word “folks,” but Ryan’s hip, rapid-fire staccato is the real thing.
You mean this guy?

He's like a mortician who went into life insurance sales without retraining.

Why might Walsh see Ryan as more hipsterrific than Obama?
Second — the deal clincher — is that Ryan is not afraid of Obama. Born in 1970, Ryan’s not dragging around any sixties baggage or angst or animus; he came of age during the Reagan administration and radiates some of the Gipper’s Sunny Jim optimism. Plus, he’s already shown he can take a punch from the president, who clearly fears him:
In this context, the only meaning I can discern in "not dragging around any sixties baggage or angst or animus" is that Walsh believes Ryan is not ascared to be called racist because Reagan, and his example will lift the people out of their terror of the Afro overlord.

Style isn't much, but when you're reimagining GOP stiffs as Tarantino hepcats* whom people will like better than Barack Obama, you don't even know what style is.

* though I can see Ryan offering America a watch he's had up his ass for two years

Thursday, July 05, 2012

SEX MAD. This is one of those post-modern stories where we start with the bloody, chaotic finale  --
We social conservatives hold the line on same-sex marriage not because we think it is more destructive than abortion and no-fault divorce (obviously it is not) but because all of these trends are rooted in the same destructive ideological and spiritual impulses that lead us to discard natural law, privilege adult wants over all other values, and erase even our most long-held liberties in the name of sexual desire.
-- and, working our way backwards, try to answer the question: Just how could this character, or anyone, become convinced that homosexuals and fornicators are conspiring to "erase even our most long-held liberties in the name of sexual desire"?

It's a losing battle. The perpetrator is National Review's David French, a nut. Recall him in May shaking his fist at Griswold v. Connecticut, in which the wicked Supreme Court condemned America to freely-available birth control: "Think for a moment of the awesome power of the sexual revolution over law and logic," thundered French. "Is there a single legal doctrine that can stand against the quest for personal sexual fulfillment?" Recall also his 2011 stab at Kim du Toit butchliness, in which he told us that, due to a "collaboration between radical feminism and a particularly sappy and sentimental Christianity... the ideal man becomes—in many essential ways—a woman: emotionally available, always eager to talk, never afraid to shed a tear, and ready, willing, and able to shoulder the household workload."

So we're never going to get a coherent narrative out of this. But we can at least get this frisson: It turns out French's premise is loonier than his conclusion. It's not merely or even mainly the removal of legislative chains from their straining libidos,  nor a perverse desire to destroy David French's liberty, that has all these homos and heteros getting it on with such ferocity.
The Sexual Revolution Depends on Big Government
I ain't even kidding.
Our fatherless kids are being fed breakfast, lunch, and sometimes now even a school dinner, and why not ban Happy Meals if there’s no competent parent around to say “no”? In fact, much of the apparatus of state entitlement is built around the presumption that citizens should enjoy a certain standard of living regardless of their personal choices and conduct.

If citizens were forced to bear more of the weight of their sexual decisions, would those decisions be different?
Were ours again a godly Republic, wastrels such as these would be starving, unable to summon the energy to stiffen or lubricate, much less mount. But like an indulgent parent, Big Government willfully feeds them till, fattened into strapping bucks and welfare queens, they fuck till freedom is no more. (Presumably some of them got a little extra feed, went totally nuts and demanded gay marriage.) This must be why Michelle Obama wants them to eat fresh vegetables -- once they're full of spinach, their genitals will engorge like Popeye's forearms, and their jackhammer couplings will shake America to its very foundations!

This brings to mind a lovely story told by Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night in the Brian Wilson doc, I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, about the night he and Iggy Stooge went over to Wilson's and the addled Beach Boy had them singing "Shortnin' Bread" for over an hour. Hutton says Iggy turned to him and said, "I'm gettin' out of here -- this guy's nuts!" I like to imagine Robert George saying that about French.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT AMERICA. I hope you're enjoying your Glorious 4th. Let's see how some of the brethren have chosen to commemorate it. Here's Scott Johnson at Power Line, reflecting on the Lincoln-Douglas debates:
In that speech Lincoln had famously asserted that the nation could not exist “half slave and half free.” According to Douglas, Lincoln’s assertion was inconsistent with the “diversity” in domestic institutions that was “the great safeguard of our liberties.” Then as now, “diversity” was a shibboleth hiding an evil institution that could not be defended on its own terms.
Look beyond the outrage against common sense, and you may see that when Johnson associates "diversity" (i.e., black people getting a break) with the white supremacist Douglas, that is itself a tribute to diversity. Is it not wonderful that our marketplace of ideas has room even for such humble sellers of cracked pottery as Johnson who, in a less generous society, would be shunted off to street-corners, there to gibber on soapboxes? Johnson too is part of our beautiful rainbow.

You might say the same of Breitbrats, as shown by their headline today:
I feel for them. I went to Bing, hoping for their sake it was blasting "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," but it showed the Empire State Building -- its lights were red, white, and blue, sure, but it's still a symbol of New York, the capital of commies. One of their commenters seems to get it:
Isn't it Bing a Bill Gates/Microsoft creation, another liberal and global government tool or fool (it's all the same to me)?
And at Forbes, where the mere fact that bankers have not hung rotting from lampposts since 2008 should be sufficient cause for holiday joy, Bill Frezza yells at the "majority of Americans" who "now subscribe to an expansive view of government as both great provider and beneficent leveler..." He goes on:
Little by little, the home of the brave and the land of the free has become a nation of rent-seeking dependents clamoring for their share of state largess. Even before the latest entitlement blowout called Obamacare, we crossed the line where more than half of Americans receive some kind of assistance from the government every month, paid for by the fewer than half that still pay income taxes. As we move into the future and the number of dependents grows while the taxpayer pool shrinks, we call the result social justice rather than its old name: theft...

If we were still a nation capable of shame with enough intellectual integrity to call things as they are, if we hadn’t debauched our language as badly as our currency, if we had the courage to look in the mirror and see how woefully we have squandered our Founders’ legacy, this Fourth of July would be a day not of celebration but of atonement.
That Frezza is comfortable spitting on the country that keeps him in broadband is further testimony to our nation's spirit of toleration. In that sense dissent truly is the highest form of patriotism -- and it's even better when wingnuts are the unwitting exemplars of it.

Ready to go, willing to stay and pay (U.S.A.! U.S.A.!) 

UPDATE. Ed Kilgore's got the right idea: "I’m no longer going to quietly accept lectures on patriotism from people who hate my country because they don’t rule it and my vote is equal to theirs."

UPDATE 2. On the other hand, conservatives don't like it when someone else does the dissenting -- like Chris Rock, who tweeted, "Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks." That charmer Robbie Cooper at Urban Grounds responds, "You are free to pack you shit and move back to Africa at any time," and quotes a bunch of white people who also don't appreciate Rock's lack of gratitude. At least Cooper is clear -- I'm still trying to figure out Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft's response: "Without the Founding Fathers, the Constitution and Declaration the United States would be a completely different country today." Indeed them was!

UPDATE 3. I don't know why, but I got the feeling I should look in on Jeff Godlstein and see what he was doing for the 4th. This, it turns out:
July fundraiser [sticky; new posts below; JULY 4 UPDATE]...

update: Thanks again to all who’ve contributed. I’m about half-way to my goal this month — which, with my pittance from Google ads, means I’m about half-way to the pistol I’ve decided on, the FN FNP 45 Tactical (with a Trijicon dual illumination amber MOA 7 sight)...

On Independence Day, it’s heartening to think that I’ll soon be taking advantage of one of our true remaining rights and arming myself and my family.

Again, thank you all for your continued support of the site. If you can manage it this month, I’d appreciate the consideration, because this arming the family thing is not cheap, and — despite what Obama might say — I’m not one of the “rich.” I just don’t collect government money. And there used to be a difference…
Can't wait for the next announcement! Maybe it'll come from the local PD.

Monday, July 02, 2012

DON'T LOOK. Following up of the loony rightwing reactions to the Obamacare decision, I see the CBS story about it has engendered a new outrage -- over the fact that John Roberts reads newspapers. National Review's Avik Roy:
Did Roberts Cave To Left-Wing Media Pressure?...

Perhaps, the next time a Republican president nominates a Supreme Court justice, he should make the candidate swear to never pick up a newspaper.

The bottom line, if Jan Crawford is right, is that conservative justices can be blackmailed by left-wing editorialists. It’s not a pretty picture.
I'm often amazed by the superhuman powers conservatives ascribe to the media -- corrupts our youth, brainwashes the sheeple, etc. -- but this is the first time I've seen one of them describe the mere viewing of contrary opinions as "blackmail." Roy really seems to think that if the Chief Justice of the United States sees an op-ed in the Times he'll not only be so confused he can't rule straight - he'll also feel as if he has to do what the op-ed says or something terrible will happen. Maybe this is how that alleged Obama threat against Roberts' children was supposed to work: Through coded messages in newspapers. We're through the looking-glass here, people!

Epistemic closure? We didn't know the half of it.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, several hours early because our power went out and I have to do all my internet at safe houses out in the sticks. (Thanks, Kia's cousin Felita!) As some of you have already guessed, it's on the Obamacare decision, and it's extra-long and packed with stupid.

I still had to cut stuff, so here are some outtakes. First, one of the more fevered contributions to the mass rightblogger analysis of John Roberts (Is he Benedict Arnold, or Bill Holden in Stalag 17?), from Start Thinking Right and called "Why Did John Roberts Play Brutus In The Shakespearean Tragedy Of ObamaCare?" (Update: Aw, shoot -- that one's actually in the column. Oh well, relive those glorious seconds here!) 
Chief Justice John Roberts, to his great personal disgrace, put the 'reputation' of the Supreme Court ahead of the law, the Constitution, and the nation... Call it the Stockholm Syndrome, which amounts to the desire for a captive to please the terrorists in order to stay alive.
So that's why Roberts blinks so much -- it's Morse Code hostage messages! (This 2,446-word item ends, "the beast will come.  When he does America will vote for him.  And then worship him.  And then take his mark.  And then burn in hell forever and ever.")

On the more housebroken tip, there's Jeffrey H. Anderson at PJ Media, telling us "Obama Distorted the Obamacare Ruling" by referring to it as the Affordable Care Act -- not because this  elides the full name of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but because everyone Anderson knows calls it Obamacare. I expect Anderson also complains when the Democrat Party calls itself the "Democratic Party." I mean, who do they think they're fooling?

UPDATE. Since I gave you a repeat here I guess I owe you another outtake. Andrew C. McCarthy:
Led by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court decided that Americans have no right to due process. Indeed, the Court not only upheld a fraud perpetrated on the public — it became a willing participant. 
Whereas if the Court decided that they could instead haul the American People off to secret prisons and torture them, that would be fine by McCarthy.  He's a cop who plays by the rules, so long as they're not in the Geneva Conventions. 

UPDATE. Bad links fixed.